"Her Cardboard Lover" provided a solid role for both Jeanne Eagels
on Broadway and Tallulah Bankhead on the West End. The Broadway
edition lasted a very respectable 152 performances. For a Marion
Davies movie it is a crime that it is not restored - the softness and
"underwater" look take away a lot of the feeling of fun that this movie
would have had!!
Davies plays Sally, a frivolous flapper who is passionate about her hobby
- collecting autographs and when she is thwarted in her first attemps to
get the signature of handsome celebrity tennis player Andre (Nils Asther),
like a mountie, she always gets her man!!! The revelation is Nils Asther
- yes, Marion gives of herself 110% but Asther shows such a sense of
humour, really able to satirize his "sulky lover" persona!! He is having
romantic problems - he is romancing a two timing seductive vamp
Simone (Jetta Goudal). Sally proposes that she become his "cardboard
lover" - a girl he can take about and try to make Simone jealous with!!
He realises that Simone is no good for him but is powerless to break free.
There is just the funniest sequence, as a last ditch effort Sally dresses up
as Simone as part of an aversion therapy technique - Marion is hilarious!!
It's honestly so hard to tell both actresses apart and Jetta, even though
she had the reputation as one of Hollywood's most temperamental
actresses, had so much fun with the skit - even designing Marion's
costume. Many thought that Jetta, by 1927, was a has-been but dear
Marion came to her rescue with a part of the femme fatale in "The
Cardboard Lover". Marion's niece Pepi Lederer can't be missed as an
enthusiastic school chum at the hotel desk.